Never Miss a Deadline or Task in Your Creative Business Again

Disclosure: Just a heads up, I’m part of the ClickUp Affiliate Program. If you click on my referral link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. I wanted to share this info with you in line with the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines on endorsements and testimonials. I promise I only ever share what I use and love, so I’d be sharing these with you anyway!

Ever jolted out of bed, heart pounding in the middle of the night because you suddenly worry you forgot to send something important to a client or answer an urgent email?

If you’re a creative entrepreneur, you can probably relate to this.

You have likely duct-taped portions of your business together behind the scenes without any formal systems in place. 

But as you steadily grow your client base and take on more projects, the weight of deadlines, tasks, and to-do lists can become heavy as lead. 

I’ve been there too. In my early days as a freelance graphic designer, I didn’t treat my business like a REAL business for a long time. Looking back, this was glaringly evident in the way I managed projects: relying on sticky notes and hand-written lists. 

But what happens when those notes get lost or become as hard to read as a doctor’s handwriting?

Suddenly, you find yourself wearing all the hats, juggling too many due dates, client needs, and creative tasks in your head—it’s impossible to keep it all straight! 

And maybe you can get by for a while, but if you keep flying by the seat of your pants, the shoe’s gonna drop eventually. Either your business will become unsustainable, or you’ll start falling short.

The need for a reliable system becomes undeniable. 

For me, that system still includes my beloved Post-it notes but now also incorporates some powerful digital tools. 

Imagine building a system that allows you to remove the duct tape and reinforce your business—stripping away the temporary fixes to ensure it’s strong and won’t dissolve at the first sign of rain.

Sounds pretty good, huh?

In this blog post, I’ll share how I found the solution I desperately needed in ClickUp—a project management tool that streamlines organization and brings peace of mind to the chaos of creative entrepreneurship. I’ll share my strategies and how my clients use them, so you can apply them to your business or tweak them to fit your own unique style.

How a Project Management Tool Can Fuel Creativity in Your Business

What is a Project Management System?

A project management system is like a roadmap for your creative projects and business tasks. It’s a structured approach to organizing, planning, executing, and monitoring everything you need to do to bring your ideas, client tasks, and creative projects to life.

Think of it as your trusty tool for maintaining control and staying focused amidst the chaos of running a business and wearing all the hats. 

Your project management system becomes, what I like to call, your “Single Point of Truth.” It’s the one place where you can find all your latest info, messages, schedules, tasks, and more. 

Instead of bouncing around between your paper to-do list, email inbox, planner, and Google Calendar (phew!), centralizing everything makes it way easier to stay organized and on top of things. 

It’s also extremely helpful if and when you decide to build a team– tasks and timelines can easily be shared between team members so everyone is on the same page and knows what they’re responsible for!

While the benefits are clear, many creatives I work with as a business coach and outsourced COO shy away from project management systems.


They worry it will be too structured. Most creatives (but not all) prefer to “go with the flow” and sometimes resist putting systems in place.

But rather than feeling restricted, a good project management system (aka one that is custom and really works for YOU) actually empowers you to be more spontaneous in your creative work. 

Being creative is tough when you’re stressed and overwhelmed. A clear, easy-to-follow system will relieve a lot of that pressure, opening up space for you to feel inspired and have fun with your work!

Demystifying Project Management Systems

Now you might be wondering– okay, this project management system stuff sounds good. But what’s the catch? They’re probably stupid expensive, right?


There are actually a ton of free, high-quality project management systems (aka “PM systems”) out there like Notion, Trello, and Asana.

So, how do you choose the right PM software for you?

Each has its own unique features and it’s worth exploring them all so you can see which tool may lend itself best to you and your unique creative work.

That being said, my personal favorite is ClickUp. Not only does it work well for my business, but I have seen it deliver time and again for my clients who come from all different creative backgrounds: artists, designers, developers, writers, musicians– they all love it!

In my business, this is where I oversee things like my client work, admin tasks, invoicing, and marketing (just to name a few). Basically, if it needs to happen for me to run my business, I name it and put it in ClickUp no matter how big or small!

So what sets ClickUp apart from the PM competition?

Here’s why I think ClickUp stands out as an ideal tool for creative businesses.

  1. It’s really comprehensive. You can customize your workspace to fit your needs which makes it an ideal tool for creative businesses with unique projects and workflows. 

  2. While many PM tools focus on one portion of project management, ClickUp combines all of these aspects into one platform so you can manage tasks, track your time (a great way to see where your time is going so you can reclaim it), share documents, set goals, and organize resources in one place without jumping from one tool to another. You can even get help with prioritizing your tasks (perfect for identifying your “3 Movers”) and setting deadlines.

  3. It’s super user-friendly! This is especially good for creative entrepreneurs because it means you can get up and running quickly and easily leaving more time for your creative work and less time spent on figuring out the complexities of your PM tool.

  4. The free version is robust. It includes unlimited tasks and users so it’s a cost-effective option for many businesses – whether you’re brand new or have been in business for a while!

I hope this insight can help you sift through the options and zoom in on what features matter most in a PM system for your creative business!

How I Use ClickUp in My Business

As a business coach for creatives and an outsourced COO, my days are a whirlwind of managing client projects, collaborating with my team, and juggling various internal tasks and passion projects. 

Amidst this (organized) chaos, ClickUp has become my virtual brain, seamlessly integrating into every aspect of my business operations.

Taming the Sticky Notes Chaos

Despite living in a digital world, I confess I will never NOT love my sticky notes. My desk has been littered with them for YEARS. And even though I’ve gone digital in many ways, and that litter has been drastically reduced, it is so deeply ingrained in me to grab a sticky note! 

They’re the quick, tangible way I capture thoughts during meetings or jot down reminders. However, the clutter they create and the risk of losing important information led me to adopt a hybrid approach.

Instead of working against myself, I’ve incorporated my sticky notes into my Project Management workflow.

Each day, I tidy up my desk, sifting through the post-its, discarding irrelevant ones, and digitizing crucial notes into ClickUp. This ensures that nothing important slips through the cracks, and I start fresh each week with a clean slate (and a reasonably tidy desk)!

Managing Tasks and Projects

ClickUp isn’t just a static place for me to dump my sticky notes; it’s become the backbone of my business processes. I create dedicated workspaces for each of my coaching and COO clients, where I store meeting notes, tasks, and collaborative documents. This makes it so easy to go back and see what was discussed, where things are, and what I need to do next.

This centralized hub allows me to effortlessly:

  • track progress, 
  • follow up on action items, 
  • and maintain clarity on project statuses.

Whether I’m on my desktop, iPad, or phone, ClickUp is always at my fingertips, enabling real-time updates and seamless collaboration with my team. 

With features like task creation from meeting notes and integration with Google Sheets, ClickUp streamlines my workflow so nothing falls through the cracks and I can easily access everything I need.

COO Tip: I firmly believe that your physical work environment can impact your productivity and focus. Learn more about how to set up your creative workspace in this blog post – especially if you work from home like I do!

Staying Organized with Daily To-Do Lists

One of ClickUp’s standout features is its ability to customize views according to my workflow. I’ve created a favorite view called “My to-do list,” which collects and combines all of my tasks for the day, even overdue items and upcoming deadlines. And in the new version, ClickUp 3.0, this became a LOT easier and more dynamic with their new Home Screen. I’m still getting used to it, but LOVE it so far!

COO Tip: The Line Up feature helps me prioritize my top “3 Movers” each day, keeping me focused and productive amidst the hustle.

Why ClickUp?

ClickUp has become indispensable to my business for several reasons:

  1. It reduces the mental clutter! By serving as a centralized task manager, ClickUp alleviates the burden of mental clutter, allowing me to focus on high-value tasks.

  2. It serves as a home for my sticky notes! While I still cherish my sticky notes, ClickUp offers a reliable digital alternative that ensures nothing gets lost in the shuffle.

  3. I can access my project materials anytime, anywhere. ClickUp’s seamless synchronization across devices enables me to transition from one device to another– which is crucial for this working mom (I love being able to monitor my projects without skipping a beat while waiting for my kids at swim lessons or in the gymnastics parking lot).

  4. Collaborating on tasks and projects with my clients and team members is so simple. Dedicated workspaces for each client streamlines communication and ensures everyone is on the same page.

  5. There are so many ways to customize and enhance workflows. From templates and various views to automations, ClickUp offers countless features that enhance and make my work so much easier! The recent updates, including AI capabilities, promise to further streamline workflows and improve overall performance.

COO Tip: For an over-the-shoulder glimpse into my PM system, check out this video on TikTok, where I show you exactly how I use ClickUp in my business. And if you want a super simple setup, you can grab my templates here

Tips For Customizing Your Project Management Workflows

Now that you’ve seen how I use ClickUp in my business, let’s explore how you can make the most of this tool for yours

While some of my methods might be helpful, remember that your work, creative tasks, admin responsibilities, and work style may be different! 

While technology is undeniably powerful, its effectiveness ultimately hinges on you, the user. How you choose to structure and use it can either enhance or hinder your experience.

Here’s how I guide clients in setting up their project management systems to work smarter, so you can create your own PM system that gets the COO stamp of approval!

  1. Organize your PM system to align with your thought process and work style. As creatives, our thinking and workflows are unique, so your PM system should reflect that too!

  2. Use relationships to connect related items, even when they’re not linear. For instance, in a graphic design project, linking design elements like logos and brand colors ensures consistency.

  3. Lean on recurring tasks to effortlessly maintain your business rhythms. For example, scheduling regular client feedback sessions at preset intervals keeps your project momentum going!

  4. Build out dependencies to make it crystal clear what order things need to be done in, so you never miss a step! This is a great way to document your SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) so you can hand things off to team members or outsource tasks while still meeting your standards!

  5. Leverage automation! For instance, automate task reassignments based on status changes. When I mark a blog brain dump as done, it automatically reassigns it to my copywriter for the first draft. Similarly, when a blog is ready to schedule, it automatically assigns it to my VA for publishing. This makes delegation a breeze!

  6. Explore ClickUp’s special features like favorite views and Line-Up to streamline daily task organization. Personally, I find it invaluable for pinpointing my “3 movers” each day, ensuring my energy is focused on tasks that drive real progress in my business.

Stay on Top of Every Deadline and Task in Your Creative Business– FOREVER

ClickUp isn’t just another tool for me; it’s become an essential part of how I run my creative business. From managing client projects to collaborating with my team and staying on top of my daily tasks, ClickUp keeps everything in sync and running smoothly.

But why keep the perks to myself? 

If you’re looking to streamline your operations, boost productivity, and finally show up like the REAL business you are, ClickUp might be just what you need. 

Best of all, it’s free to get started – forever! You can use my affiliate link (I’d appreciate it!) to sign up and explore its features for yourself!

And if you’re like me and prefer a jumpstart, consider checking out my premade ClickUp templates. They’re designed with creative businesses in mind and offer a head start on customizing ClickUp to fit your unique needs from high-level tasks to day-to-day operations and everything in between!

Let’s simplify and enhance your business journey together with ClickUp!


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